The Art of Now -Jeff Foster

THE ART OF NOW

When you get truly creative
you get truly messy too!

You make endless mistakes,
and your mistakes only fuel the creativity.
And the end result
is nothing liked you planned,
thank goodness!

You love what you made!
You brought something out of nothing!
You participated in a miracle,
and ‘You’ weren’t there at all.

This is true meditation:

To be grateful for mistakes.

To witness an ordinary moment painting itself
on the sacred canvas of Now.

To be messy, imperfect, but so very ALIVE!

– Jeff Foster

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“My father once told me a story about an old redwood tree—how she stood tall and proud—her sprawling limbs clothed in emerald green. With a smile, he described her as a mere sapling, sheltered by her elders and basking in the safety of the warm, dappled light. But as this tree grew taller, she found herself at the mercy of the cruel wind and the vicious rain. Together, they tore relentlessly at her pretty boughs, until she felt as though her heart would split in two.

After a long, thoughtful pause, my father turned to me and said, “My daughter, one day the same thing will happen to you. And when that time comes, remember the redwood tree. Do not worry about the cruel wind or the vicious rain—but do as that tree did and just keep growing.”
Lang Leav, The Universe of Us

“The only way to gain power in a world that is moving too fast is to learn to slow down. And the only way to spread one’s influence wide is to learn how to go deep. The world we want for ourselves and our children will not emerge from electronic speed but rather from a spiritual stillness that takes root in our souls. Then, and only then, will we create a world that reflects the heart instead of shattering it.”

–Marianne Williamson

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‘It’s up to you- its always up to you. You can deny, repress, distort, and bury your unresolved wounds all you want. You can re-frame them, pseudo-positivity them, detach from them, spiritual bypass them. You can re-name yourself, hide away in a monastery, turn your story around. And you can spend all your money on superficial healing practices and hocus pocus practitioners. But it won’t mean a damn thing, if you don’t do the deeper work to excavate and heal your primary wounds. Because the material is still there, right where you left it, ruling your life and controlling your choices. This is the nature of unhealed material- it is alive, and one way or the other, it will manifest itself in your lived experience. It will language your inner narrative. It will obstruct your path and limit your possibilities. It lives everywhere that you live. And so you have to decide- excavate it and bring it into consciousness where it can be worked through and integrated, or repress it and watch it rule your life. It’s one of the hardest truths we have to face: If we don’t deal with our stuff, it deals with us. There is no way around this. Choose.’ -Jeff Brown 

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“Sometimes the simplest and best use of our will is to drop it all and just walk out from under everything that is covering us, even if only for an hour or so—just walk out from under the webs we’ve spun, the tasks we’ve assumed, the problems we have to solve. They’ll be there when we get back, and maybe some of them will fall apart without our worry to hold them up.”
— Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)

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“The further I wake into this life, the more I realize that God is everywhere and the extraordinary is waiting quietly beneath the skin of all that is ordinary. Light is in both the broken bottle and the diamond, and music is in both the flowing violin and the water dripping from the drainage pipe. Yes, God is under the porch as well as on top of the mountain, and joy is in both the front row and the bleachers, if we are willing to be where we are.”
— Mark Nepo (The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Being Present to the Life You Have)

Heal Your Heart -Jeff Brown

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‘Excessive analysis perpetuates emotional paralysis. Knowing our issues is not the same as healing our issues. In fact, knowing is often a willful act, entirely incongruent with the experience of surrender required to heal. I have known many who could name their patterns and issues—almost like they had done a science experiment on their own consciousness— but nothing changed because they refused to come back down into their bodies and move their feelings through to transformation. It’s safe up there, above the fray, witnessing the pain-body without actually engaging it. The key to the transformation of challenging patterns and wounds is to heal them from the inside out. Not to analyze them, not to watch them like an astronomer staring at a faraway planet through a telescope, but to jump right into the heart of them, encouraging their expression and release, stitching them into new possibilities with the thread of love. You want to live a holy life? Heal your heart.’

-Jeff Brown

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‘Each of us has something to do in this lifetime. We all have negative emotions to be purified and positive emotions to be cultivated. All of us need to reconnect to our source and drop our personal stories, don’t we? Men, women, old, young, from here, from there – it is the same. All you can do is your practice. There is nothing else. Don’t get caught up. Don’t stop. We have to learn how to get out of our own way. Because ultimately, the only thing standing in our way is ourselves.’ –Tenzin Palmo 

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‘Sometimes we forget how far we have traveled. Good to acknowledge what it took to get this far, all those hoops we had to jump through, all those difficult over comings. Good to stroke our face with love and remind ourselves how much courage it took to brave the journey. Good to say ‘thank you’ to the spirit that walks within and beside us, reminding us that we are simply and utterly worth fighting for. Sometimes I see someone who has endured so much find their way through the pain tunnel to a truly better place. I am not talking about the bypassing of the pain-body. I am talking about the courageous working through of the emotional debris. And then I marvel at the human spirit, which creates whatever tools it needs to overcome the odds and find its way home. We ARE simply and utterly worth fighting for.’-Jeff Brown

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“Embracing the paradox that we simultaneously are and are not our story is precisely what enables us to keep writing new ones. My story about the abuse I experienced at the hands of my father will always be a part of me, but it no longer defines me. Of course, I sometimes spiral back into trauma; unlike the self-help pundits who say it’s possible to simply let go of the old hurts by cleansing them with a dose of love and light. I know that even as the impact fades, this experience is something that will be with me for the rest of my life.

That said, healing is not a linear journey. Old trauma is wrapped up in the fabric of the new stories I’ve created for myself, and the resulting pattern is not nice and clean and neat. In fact, the deeper we all go, the messier and more chaotic it will get. It is the contrasting loops of darkness and light, life and death, defeat and triumph, that make the human story such a compelling and gorgeous one…”

 

-Kelly McNelis

(~an excerpt from ‘Women for One’ founder Kelly McNelis’s new book, ‘Your Messy Brilliance’)